Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America

Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America

by Charles H. Ferguson
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Overview

Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America by Charles H. Ferguson

Charles H. Ferguson, who electrified the world with his Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job, now explains how a predator elite took over the country, step by step, and he exposes the networks of academic, financial, and political influence, in all recent administrations, that prepared the predators’ path to conquest. 
     Over the last several decades, the United States has undergone one of the most radical social and economic transformations in its history. 

·         Finance has become America’s dominant industry, while manufacturing, even for high technology industries, has nearly disappeared.

·         The financial sector has become increasingly criminalized, with the widespread fraud that caused the housing bubble going completely unpunished.

·         Federal tax collections as a share of GDP are at their lowest level in sixty years, with the wealthy and highly profitable corporations enjoying the greatest tax reductions.

·         Most shockingly, the United States, so long the beacon of opportunity for the ambitious poor, has become one of the world’s most unequal and unfair societies. 

If you’re smart and a hard worker, but your parents aren’t rich, you’re now better off being born in Munich, Germany or in Singapore than in Cleveland, Ohio or New York.
This radical shift did not happen by accident. 

     Ferguson shows how, since the Reagan administration in the 1980s, both major political parties have become captives of the moneyed elite.  It was the Clinton administration that dismantled the regulatory controls that protected the average citizen from avaricious financiers.  It was the Bush team that destroyed the federal revenue base with its grotesquely skewed tax cuts for the rich. And it is the Obama White House that has allowed financial criminals to continue to operate unchecked, even after supposed “reforms” installed after the collapse of 2008.

     Predator Nation reveals how once-revered figures like Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers became mere courtiers to the elite.  Based on many newly released court filings, it details the extent of the crimes—there is no other word—committed in the frenzied chase for wealth that caused the financial crisis.  And, finally, it lays out a plan of action for how we might take back our country and the American dream.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307952578
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/22/2012
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 693,554
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Charles H. Ferguson won an Oscar in 2011 for Inside Job, his documentary on the financial crisis, and was an Oscar nominee for his first documentary, No End In Sight, on the war in Iraq.  He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, holds a PhD in Political Science from MIT, and has been a technology policy consultant to the White House and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, as well as to leading technology companies including Apple, IBM, and Texas Instruments.  He was the co-founder of Vermeer Technologies, which invented the web tool Front Page, later sold to Microsoft.  A former visiting scholar at MIT and Berkeley, he has also been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.  He has written four books, and is a life member of the Council of Foreign Relations and a director of the French-American Foundation.

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Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent, well-researched analysis of historical events which came together to bring about the 2008 financial crash. Compelling read. Fascinating information presented passionately and convincingly. Powerful in-depth look at material which was presnted so effectively in the movie "Inside Job." I only wish the cover art was more in keeping with the gravity of the research and the forcefulness of his argument. The cover graphic seems to imply that the book is being written by an angry hack who thinks "shooting a bird" is somehow funny or positively meaningful. It certainly sends a wrong message on the depth and quality of his argument, and potentially can dissuade thoughtful readers from seriously considering reading this book. Don't be dissuaded. This is an important book perhaps inadvertently screwed by poor marketing and packaging: The sophomoric "bird" as well as the use of a title that does not directly tie it in to the movie "Inside Job", and is potentially misleading. The author did his job masterfully; the publisher let him down. A great and important read anyway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book for a class, and it was actually really enjoyable. I learned a lot about the crisis; I was a bit young when it happened, so I didn't remember a lot of the details. Ferguson goes beyond simply describing history to posit what the root of the problem in the financial industry was and suggest optimistic solutions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone who reads this book will be outraged with Ferguson's details of the atrocious, egregious, criminal, gangster, racketeering-like activity of our banks. There simply are not enough "dirty" words to describe what they get away with. JPmorganChase, for example, paid $2.2 billion for helping Enron falsify documents, paid $88.3 million for wire transfers to countries the US had embargos established, and paid $228 million for fraudulent bidding practices involving 93 municipalities, of which many have declared bankruptcy. They also were the bank involved with Madoff and MF Global. One of the most nefarious was, at the time, with Wachovia, who "only" paid $150 million for laundering $420 " billion" of Mexican Drug Cartel money and nobody went to jail. But if "you" get caught with marijuana. If a couple of hundred thousand Americans read this book maybe something will be done. This is the best book about our financial system as it exposes the banks for what they are - predators who actually cause negative returns to us all. In my opinion, with what Ferugson exposes, the American Dream is a myth, when the big boys got to steal to make a living.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book explains, in extreme detail, the policies/regulations, incompetency of executives, and human behavior that lead up to and during the mortgage bubble and financial crisis.  He gives an analysis of how the financial industry has changed America, (and the World), to how it is today.  He also explores political and academia corruption and how it has effected American policy, education, infrastructure, and regulation.  He dives into industry, politics, and academia and naming players that have some serious ties to the financial crisis and are still leaders today (well, February 2012).  As a previous reviewer said, you will, rather should, be outraged after reading this and hopefully, more aware and informed when you go to the polls next (seriously do research on candidates for ALL political positions). As informative and eye-opening this book is, I didn't like the end.   Not because of his outlook of the future,but because he suggested improvements to change, but no real way of implementing them.  He does that the improvements will/would be difficult to instill, but it's kind of hot air when there's no plan of action.
JGRBRIT More than 1 year ago
Ferguson does an OK job of describing what has gone wrong with the American economy and the leadership thereof during the past 30+ years. There cannot be much argument that the American economic model has lost much of its former vibrancy and is now no longer the standard to which the rest of the world aspires. On the other hand, he attributes this almost entirely (as I interpret his book) to gross incompetence combined with personal greed on the part of corporate and political leaders alike, ranging from GM and US Steel's executives in the 1980s to the past several Presidents and several generations of congressional leaders. Some of the examples used to illustrate this thesis are truly staggering in terms of the level of self-interest, corruption or plain obliviousness to reality involved in decision-making. At the same time, we're left with a sense that there is some sort of massive conspiracy involving tens of thousands of political and corporate leaders to deliberately defraud the American people. A sort of sophisticated version of Zimbabwe. This is obviously nonsense. What the book fails to discuss is critical: 1. The fact that the supremacy of the US economy in the 30 years after WW2 was inevitable in itself given the fact that all other major economies had been destroyed by the hostilities. It followsjust as obviously that, as those other economies recovered, they would pose threats to American economic supremacy that would inevitably lead to a relative decline in American standards of living as lower wage rates in other countries outstripped the (undoubted) ability of American technology to substitute IT and process improvement for cheap labor. We've seen this clearly in the past 25 years, and intuition tells you that no business or - for sure - political leader could have predicted this perfectly and somehow dvised "policies" that would have avoided the trend. 2. The American system of government and its underpinning philosophy is fundamentally broken and inappropriate for a modern democracy. You can point to the failure of the effort to create a united European economy but that doesn't change the fact that the component economies that have generally been well run have steadily prospered and continue to do so today despite the politically-driven European mess (think Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, even the UK). How about a follow-up, Mr. Ferguson, that puts less emphasis on conspiracy theory, more on recognition of some of the global economic inevitabilities and MUCH MORE space devoted to how this gloomy American trend can be reversed (including some of the things mentioned in this book like modrn infrastructure development and investment in better education).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow am i the frst to wrie a review? Must not be a very good book